Forks twisted?

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Re: Forks twisted?

Postby Steve6088 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:43 am

Wicky wrote:
Steve6088 wrote:I have used needle roller bearings on the bottom of the steering stem and standard ball bearings on the top, is there any chance this could cause problems? I couldn't see why. I will try just tightening the bearings up a bit more if not.


I think each need different torque, so having a mix will cause potential problems - as if you torque one up correctly the other will be slack. Why not install a fresh pair of one or the other for safety sake.


That's what I should do but I dont have access to stands to take the front end back off again for a couple of months. Would it be possible to change the top bearings without taking the whole steering stem out?
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Re: Forks twisted?

Postby Wicky » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:00 pm

A step-ladder should be able to support the front end of the ground to do the job.
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Re: Forks twisted?

Postby popkat » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:21 pm

If i want to work on the front end of mine this is how i do it.

Make sure your on a level surface with the bike in gear and on the side stand (best not to be on a slippery surface) get a piece of wood, floor board or decking board is good, approx 2ft long x 4-4.5" wide x 1/2" thick, lift the front end by putting your right shoulder under the top fairing under the headlight, have a little try first it's much easier than it sounds to lift the front wheel. when practiced then ready get your wood, lift the front wheel just enough to place the wood under the front cam/rocker cover, you'll find it sits quite nicely, the wood should be level on the ground with all of the 4" in contact and the top will be wedged on the cam cover, have a look and you'll see where it'll fit nicely. once done give the bike a bit of a wiggle, it should be as stable as any stand, if it does tip off at this point it'll only drop back down (about 2") it isn't far off the floor, try again, once your happy the bike is stable then you can remove the front end.

Loosen all bolts before you lift but nip the top yoke bolts back up to hold things in place til your ready. when done tighten all bolts up as much as you feel comfortable with (not overtight though) then torque them all up when the front wheel is back on the ground.

this might sound a little precarious reading but i've done loads of front end work on firestorms and i've never had a bike budge doing it this way. if your removing the headraces from the frame just regularly check the wood is still in place after each couple of blows with the hammer, but if you have good tools they'll pop out readily.

Have the wood of a length that only lifts the front an inch to 2 inches, just enough to get the front wheel out, too high and you might risk the bike toppling over to the left.

As said this is how i do it, but if your bike falls off or you damage it in any way I take no responsibility, it won't be my fault. Just give it a try, if you don't feel comfortable or confident then don't continue.
Last edited by popkat on Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Forks twisted?

Postby Stratman » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:26 pm

Wicky wrote:
Steve6088 wrote:I have used needle roller bearings on the bottom of the steering stem and standard ball bearings on the top, is there any chance this could cause problems? I couldn't see why. I will try just tightening the bearings up a bit more if not.


I think each need different torque, so having a mix will cause potential problems - as if you torque one up correctly the other will be slack. Why not install a fresh pair of one or the other for safety sake.


You must replace the top and bottom races with the same type of bearing as of course that will make a difference.
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Re: Forks twisted?

Postby Steve6088 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:13 pm

I should be able just take the lock nuts off and pull the top bearings out, without taking everything off? :confused

That way I can replace the top ones for roller bearings like the ones on the bottom?
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Re: Forks twisted?

Postby popkat » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:24 pm

How are you going to get the race out if you do it that way ?, I'd say tighten them up a bit to remove the play and if then you have nice smooth steering without any resistance your good to go. If not then either you have some sort of puller to get the top race out or you don't have the mechanical knowledge to carry out the job (no offence intended) in which case get someone who knows what they're doing to help you. This is a very important part of the bike your working on, safety first :thumbup:
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Re: Forks twisted?

Postby AMCQ46 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:31 pm

Wicky wrote:
Steve6088 wrote:I have used needle roller bearings on the bottom of the steering stem and standard ball bearings on the top, is there any chance this could cause problems? I couldn't see why. I will try just tightening the bearings up a bit more if not.


I think each need different torque, so having a mix will cause potential problems - as if you torque one up correctly the other will be slack. Why not install a fresh pair of one or the other for safety sake.


Wicky is correct, the basic setting for each type of bearing is so different that you cant mix and match, and will result in bad steering precision.. get a taper fitted in the top as well ASAP
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Re: Forks twisted?

Postby cybercarl » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:28 pm

I've used timber under the front cam cover as well. I put the bike on my abba stand first and then it pivots enough to get the timber in place. But as popkat said you need to loosen any nuts and bolts a tad first so you not putting too much force on them when proped up. Don't forget the front wheel needs to be removed so you can lower the forks down through the frame.

(:-})
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Re: Forks twisted?

Postby AMCQ46 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:03 pm

and same as popkat and others have said, you need to take the yokes out so you can get acess to drift the top outer bearing race out of the frame.

to lift the front, I use abba stand and car jack under the sump. it also works with a padock stand, but is much stable
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Re: Forks twisted?

Postby Steve6088 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:17 pm

I have reused the races which were already in the frame as they didn't look worn in anyway, when I fitted the forks a couple of weeks back.

I used a paddock stand and 2 trolley jacks under the sump to hold the bike up. Seemed secure enough.

I just need to take the top bearing out and swap it with roller bearings. I reckon I should be able to simply do that by taking the top yoke and lock nuts off. I cant get back to my parents house any time soon, where the trolley jacks and paddock stand are. That is why I was wondering if just the top bearing could be changed without taking everything off?
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Re: Forks twisted?

Postby popkat » Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:51 pm

When the bearings wear they create troughs/dips in the bearing race (the part you need to drift out) you can't always tell by looking, just replacing the balls won't do this and won't fix it, If your bikes done more than about 6000 miles and the bearings have never been regreased then they'll be knackered. Your choice though.
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Re: Forks twisted?

Postby NHSH » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:20 pm

Wicky wrote:
Steve6088 wrote:I have used needle roller bearings on the bottom of the steering stem and standard ball bearings on the top, is there any chance this could cause problems? I couldn't see why. I will try just tightening the bearings up a bit more if not.


I think each need different torque, so having a mix will cause potential problems - as if you torque one up correctly the other will be slack. Why not install a fresh pair of one or the other for safety sake.


+1 Absolutely correct, you should not mix needle bearing with ball bearings, you cannot achieve the correct torque having them mixed, why you even want to keep the ball bearing? they are short lived and tend to loose ability to adjust after couple tightening on the bearing.
The wobbly feel you get is most definitely coming from the bearing at this stage,
Do yourself good by listening to Wicky's suggestion, get a fresh pair mate! It will solve this problem!
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